I have a chance to discuss about guy's "foreskin" (the skin which covers the penis top) and their troubles the other day. As far as I know, it is a big deal in Japan. "If the penis is covered with the foreskin, it's not clean. It keeps grime inside and that stinks!" says girls, and also "It's a bit embarrassing to show... (ex. in a gym or bath house) I wish mine's peeled." says boys.

So that...

No skin = Symbol of Matured Men
Covered = Not matured -> Dirty and Stink -> No No No!!!

Foreskin is a really big matter in Japan and there even some books and research exist. This is an article for a book called “Male Circumcision in Japan,” written by Genaro Castro-Vazquez, assistant professor of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

The long and short of male circumcision in Japan (Japan Times)

I've never heard about circumsision for babies like people does in the US, however I know a few Japanese mothers try "Muki Muki Exercise" to their baby boy, where they use their fingers to peel the foreskin by pulling the skin downwards repeatedly. It's just for sanitary reason they would say but there would be "Covered=No No" idea unconsciously behind... perhaps?

Boys feel embarrassed if his penis is covered with foreskin. So some people actually peel it before they go into Onsen. (apparently it keeps that way for a while)

Why do Japanese people become so foreskin-conscious? One says it's because of the advertisement of a plastic surgery clinic where they offer a circumcision operation. One says this idea has existed in Japan for a loooong time since at least Edo era (200 years ago). As we can see a huge penis without covering foreskin in many Ukiyoe arts. Also, you might have seen "penis festival" in Japan and their object of worship is usually, a huge peeled (or I should say erected) penis. Which mislead people to think that is a normal (or ideal) look of penis.

Living away from own country, I can find many things turn out to be weird different. I'm not sure that people in Japan still have the same idea. Probably I will try to let them know keeping foreskin is natural thing next time I go back to Japan. You know, they LOVE natural stuffs. But how can I start this topic?